Science uses an
empirical approach, which is when the only source of knowledge comes through
our senses through experience. The prime empirical method of inquiry in science
is experiment, allowing to collect facts and evidence, eventually leading to
accumulation of knowledge. According to Karl Popper that in science these
theories and approaches should come first and are used to generate hypothesis
which can be falsified by observations and experiments. Thereafter,
falsification is the only way to be certain and attain ‘robust’ knowledge. An
example is the notion of the practice of stem cells in the medical field. On
one hand, researchers reasoned out that stem cell research offers a great
platform for understanding the mechanism of human development, as well as
treatment for diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and myocardial
infraction. Nevertheless, in field of sciences, disagreement if inherent to the
process of knowledge production, therefore it was argued that stem cells raises
sharp ethical and political controversies, questioning the effectiveness of
treatment. Through the disagreement towards its use in general, there was
derivation of pluripotent stem cell lines from oocytes and embryos which proves
to be much more efficient than the use of the general stem cells. The reprogramming
of somatic cells to produced induced pluripotent stem cells avoids he ethical
problems specific to embryonic stem cell research. The process of research and
disagreement towards the initial proposal entails rigor and prolonged deliberation
that has higher objective to seek accurate knowledge for the entire humanity. Therefore,
through consensus and disagreement, it is established that the induced
pluripotent stem cells offers the potential to treat many diseases having
considered the ethical and political issues. Through disagreement, there lies
an inherent value of the argument. Not only does it steer towards scrutiny and
exploration, but the outcome also rests on a well-balanced and robust
foundation. With the example of human science in mind, it brings to us the role
of reasoning in making conclusions and attaining powerful knowledge as Karl
also suggests, “No amount of observations of white swans can allow the
conclusion that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan
is sufficient to refute that conclusion.”